Save the Children: Two million children trapped in Syria as the war impacts every aspect of their lives

by zoejardiniere

15.03.2013. An estimated two million children are suffering the impact of the war in Syria, often out of reach of humanitarian aid organisations, a new report by Save the Children has shown. Children are being recruited by armed groups and there are reports that children as young as eight have been used as human shields. Research on Syrian refugee populations in Turkey has found that three in every four interviewed children had lost a loved one in the fighting.

As the infrastructure of the country has been destroyed, large numbers of children live in unsanitary conditions and increasing numbers are suffering from diarrhoea as a result. Hospitals and health workers are being deliberately attacked so going to the few hospitals that remain open is risky and mothers are often forced to give birth at home, without trained assistance. Most displaced families live in overcrowded houses, while an estimated 80,000 families are forced to use caves, parks or barns for shelter.

2,000 schools have been damaged in the conflict, and many more have been closed and become shelters for displaced people. Save the Children warns that the longer children are out of school, the less likely it is that they will ever go back, threatening their futures and that of the entire country. Of the million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries registered with UNHCR, 78% are estimated to be women and children.

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–         BBC, Syria’s children targeted and under fire, 13 March 2013